Embrace the mess of playing in the mud—it’s okay for children to get dirty. In fact, when you look at the benefits children gain from mud play, it’s not just okay, it’s important. And the joy on the children’s faces will reinforce your efforts and make the mess worthwhile.
Risk is a vital component of children's play. It allows children to be challenged, to face uncertainty, to problem-solve, and think outside the box. All of these qualities become the building blocks for later learning and success.
In the history of human development, oral language—conversation, poetry, story-telling, and song—arose long before written language. In children we see the same pattern of language development. Children first learn to listen, to speak, to sing, to enjoy rhymes, stories, and books before they can read or write. What we often forget is that this foundation in oral language is a critical step in developing literacy.
Playdough is fun. The soft, colored dough is a staple in most early childhood classrooms, but does it receive the attention it deserves as a valuable tool to prepare kids for school?
The malleable properties of playdough make it appealing for exploration and creativity while at the same time...
In a technology-driven age, infants’ and toddlers’ exposure to “screen time” is a hot topic. As caregivers in the classroom, we may be pressured by parents who use screen media with their children at home—parents who would like us to help their children acquire...
Early childhood teachers are intentional in creating physical environments for children, but we often overlook the soundscape, not realizing it is there. However, the landscape of sound that surrounds a child is an important learning domain.
In the face of this indoor-ification of early childhood, a cultural and educational movement is emerging—focused on new approaches to nature-based education. This movement offers us a glimpse of what childhood used to be, and still could be—the modern re-creations of the children’s garden: the nature preschool and the forest kindergarten.
Two well-known approaches, project-based learning and STEM-based learning, hold to the common philosophy that children learn best when engaged in authentic and relevant activities. While they both have value on their own, when combined they form an even more powerful tool for education.
Boredom is useful in that it compels children to invent, to switch gears, to think of something new, and to learn to enjoy their own company. What happens if children are not given the chance to "be bored"?
Enjoying the outdoors is not limited to the summer months. Winter offers a host of thrilling activities and adventures for children. Wearing appropriate clothing is key to being able to enjoy the winter weather so make sure the kids are bundled up to keep warm and dry.
Here are 10 activities to...